Suspect Jumps California Deputy Responding to 911 Hang-Up

Deputy Traci Salmon, 31, was violently attacked and TASERed at the front door of a mountainous residence, before escaping. The suspect was later arrested.

A Ventura County (Calif.) Sheriff's deputy who responded to a remote, mountainous residence is recovering from a violent attacked after responding to a 911 hang-up call in Los Padres National Forest.

Dep. Traci Salmon was violently attacked at approximately on the morning of Dec. 10, after she arrived at the residence.

When Dep. Salmon approached the front door, she was immediately attacked by 32-year-old John Steven Atkinson and a violent struggle ensued. Atkinson assaulted the deputy and was able to gain control of her TASER. Atkinson then TASERed the deputy in the upper body. The deputy fired her service weapon, striking Atkinson in the leg. Atkinson continued to fight until the deputy could withdraw from the residence and call for backup.

Atkinson armed himself with a firearm and remained inside the residence as additional deputies and other law enforcement officers arrived.

The incident came to an end at approximately 11:30 a.m. when Atkinson exited the residence and surrendered. Other adults inside the residence were uninjured.

Dep. Salmon, 31, was treated and released from the Ventura County Medical Center. She has five years of service and previously served in Iraq in the U.S. Army.

Atkinson was arrested and also transported to the medical center where he was treated for his injuries. Atkinson was later released from the hospital and booked into Ventura County's jail for attempted murder on a peace officer and the taking of a peace officer's weapon. His bail has been set at $1 million. The sheriff's Major Crimes Bureau is investigating the incident and has declined to release a motive for the attack, Capt. Ross Bonfiglio tells POLICE Magazine.

The incident prompted a multi-agency response from the California Department of Fish and Game, California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department and Ventura Police Department. The Ventura County Sheriff's response included personnel from the Air Unit, SWAT Team, Negotiations Unit, Major Crimes Bureau, CSI, Patrol, as well as other investigators and tactical units.

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